'The Power of Mama' are Borneo's first women ranger teams, and all the women have joined from local villages that are threatened by fire during the dry season.
These inspiring women are passionate about their communities, the natural environment, and the wellbeing of the wildlife living in the forests nearby. We interviewed four of them, and here are some of the stories they shared with us.
Mrs Eli Marlina, Sungai Awan Kiri Village
What is your role and what do you enjoy about it?
I was initially interested in the PoM activities and I was invited to become a PoM. I patrol and conduct outreach to local villagers. We gather the local community for outreach and we introduce them to the importance of protecting the environment. I am able to do new things and discover new things. It makes me very happy because PoM can provide positive things, not only to our local community, but to the world.
What do you hope will change in the future for wildlife?
I hope that our children and grandchildren can get to know and see these animals firsthand. I hope we can look after the forest so there is still a home for these animals.
You can see Eli Marlina's interview below.
Mrs Kristinayun, Sukamaju Village Coordinator
What is your role and how did you become involved?
I am the Power of Mama (PoM) coordinator for my village and my role is to coordinate all the patrolling and other activities in my village. When there was a fire in the area, I was invited to put out the fire. I was given the opportunity, like the men, to carry out firefighting activities. We have the opportunity, like men, to participate in patrols and fight fires.
What skills did you need to learn to do this role and what do you hope to achieve in the future?
There are many things we need to learn, such as communicating and conducting outreach to the community about the dangers of forest and land fires, and continuing to fight the fires. I’m doing the PoM activities happily because if it’s done with happiness, the results will be positive. I hope that one day our children and grandchildren will still be able to see green forests, lush surroundings and protected wild animals.
Mrs Eva Nurhayati, Pematang Gadung Village Coordinator
What is your job and what do you do in a normal week?
I am the PoM coordinator and I work as a fire volunteer. I was invited by the village facilitator to join, and I’ve been doing this for seven months, since the 1st of June. Every week we do Patrolling and outreach with the local community. We also learn new skills, including flying drones and weaving ecopoly bags and mats.
What are some of the main challenges and how has this role changed your life?
There can be difficulty patrolling as the roads and terrain are difficult. Fighting the fires is also challenging, and when it’s a rainy day, the road becomes muddy. For me as a housewife, now that I'm a PoM, I'm very happy that I can help the community care for the environment and clean the rivers. I’m happy that I can meet other PoMs.
What do you hope for in the future for endangered wildlife?
Hopefully in the future the wildlife will not be faced with forest fires, they will not inhale the smoke from the fires, and they will live well. I hope their populations will increase and therefore will no longer be endangered.
The Power of Mama is only possible with support from generous donors like you. You can support these inspiring women by making a donation today.